Microdeterminism and concepts of emergence

Philosophy of Science 51 (March):44-63 (1984)
Contemporary scientific theories assume a primarily micro-deterministic view of nature. This paper explores the question of whether micro-determinism is incompatible with the alleged emergence of properties and laws that some biologists and philosophers assert occurs in various biological systems. I argue that a preferable unified treatment of these emergence claims takes properties, rather than laws, to be the units of emergence. Four distinct conceptions of emergence are explored and three shown to be compatible with micro-determinism. The remaining concept of emergence, direct macro-determination, does not, I argue, meet the general requirement that an adequate scientific explanation provide a coherent mechanism or effective means of determination
Keywords Biology  Determinism  Emergence  Science
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DOI 10.1086/289163
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Jessica M. Wilson (2010). Non-Reductive Physicalism and Degrees of Freedom. British Journal for Philosophy of Science 61 (2):279-311.
Kari L. Theurer (2014). Complexity-Based Theories of Emergence: Criticisms and Constraints. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):277-301.
Philippe Huneman (2008). Emergence and Adaptation. Minds and Machines 18 (4):493-520.

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